Pennsylvania Town Declares WAR On Overweight And Illegally Parked Semi-Trucks
“We’re not trying to be punitive. We are trying to get illegal trucks that damage our roadways off the road. Overweight trucks ruin our infrastructure, and some drivers are driving excess hours.” – Matt Fetick, Kennett Township Police Dept.
Kennett Township, Pennsylvania – Kennett Township officials say residents are fed up with unlawful big rigs traveling through the borough and they aim to crack down on them, according to a report by dailylocal.com.
In an announcement last week, Police Chief Bill Holdsworth said truckers can expect safety inspections will be held two weeks every month from now on. “We want everyone to know we are targeting any kind of dangerous motor vehicle coming through town,” Holdsworth told dailylocal.com. “We are aggressively pursuing this.”
Borough councilors say one of the most frequent complaints they receive from residents are “parking complaints” about semi-trucks. As a result, police are responding by stepping up enforcement on what they deem to be “unsafe” tractor-trailers traveling through the area. Police officer Mark Todd says, “There is a huge amount of volume of trucks that come through town, and many of them have multiple safety issues. We really want it to be known that we are enforcing this.”
The biggest offense police are looking for is overweight trucks. The borough’s police force now has an officer certified to use portable scales and an inter-municipal agreement with Kennett Township, in which both municipalities share the costly portable scales. Police say they do not need “probable cause” to pull semi-trucks over for an inspection.
For truckers who are operating through the area with an overweight load, you can expect to be issued hefty fines, officials say. According to police, a West Virginia trucker who was recently traveling in a nearby county was fined nearly $20,000 for hauling a load 63,000 pounds over its weight limit. And a Florida truck driver was jailed for four days in Pennsylvania for not being able to pay a portion of the $17,000 fine he got for driving an overweight rig.
Overweight fines are so steep because of how the state assesses fines for violations. For the first 3,000 pounds over the allowed weight limit, there is a $150 fine, and the fine increases to $150 for each 500 pounds, or partial 500 pounds, after that.
Matt Fetick, who oversees the Kennett Square Police Department, said “We’re not trying to be punitive. We are trying to get illegal trucks that damage our roadways off the road. Overweight trucks ruin our infrastructure, and some drivers are driving excess hours.” He continued, “The point is that overweight trucks ruin our bridges, and this is all about making the borough safe.”
Big industries in the borough are the mushroom and cold storage businesses. These industries employ a good number of people and bring in significant revenue to the residents of the borough. These businesses require quite a few commercial trucks to come in and out of the area daily. Fetick says they are not looking to make things more difficult for these folks.
“There is a fine balance supporting local commerce that powers our economy,” Fetick said. “We need trucks. I am not interested in creating problems for our local businesses. Mushroom farms need truck transportation. This is about getting unsafe and overweight trucks off our roads.”
Featured image courtesy of Kennett Township Police.
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